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October 21, 2020

Investing (Not Spending) Your Money and Time

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This is not about good financial literacy habits or money management... It's about how you view the use of your time and money as tools. In a capitalistic economy we rely on mutual exchanges in order to give and receive value. But in this way everything is painted as very transactional. This means that it appears the exchange happens all at once, the entirety of value for full compensation at the moment of transfer. This is why we describe it as how you “spend” your money or how you “spend” your time, because the resource is determined to be completely allocated all at once.

Instead, let’s think about this transaction through the lens of investing your time, and investing your money. When we buy food, we’re investing in our well-being and the lasting effect it has on the body and its ability to perform. When we invest our time in a project it provides lessons and learnings that we take with us far longer than the literal time we spent working on it. This perspective on the way we spend our most valuable assets deconstructs the transactional nature of the exchange and highlights the prolonged benefits we receive, which is a more accurate representation of what we get.

This all comes together in a very common term - Return on investment. By labeling the way you spend your time and money as an investment, you have the opportunity to squeeze as much value out of it as you can in order to get a better return. This allows you to evaluate the exchanges you have that involve your time and money in a new way, with more clarity on what you’re actually getting for it. Seeing it as an investment allows you to be more intentional about how you spend your valuable resources, and ultimately allocate them in a way that produces more joy and fulfillment.

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